This guide is of special importance to foreign photographers and companies wishing to engage foreign photographers to shoot in Singapore. Since the IRAS levies a tax of 15% on the gross fees paid to non-resident professionals working in Singapore, it is important to include the tax amount as a chargeable item when you do your billing. Please refer to the following excerpts from the IRAS website for details:

If You are Employed for 60 Days or Less in a Year

  • You will be regarded as a non-resident. The number of days in Singapore include weekends and public holidays.
  • Your employment income is exempt from tax if you are here on short-term employment.
  • This exemption does not apply if you are a director of a company, a public entertainer or exercising a profession in Singapore. Professionals include foreign experts, foreign speakers, queen’s counsels, consultants, trainers, coaches etc.

If You are Here for 61 Days to 182 Days in a Year

  • You will be regarded as a non-resident. The number of days in Singapore include weekends and public holidays.

As a non-resident:

  • You will only be taxed on all income earned in Singapore.
  • You will not be entitled to tax reliefs.
  • Your employment income will be taxed at a flat rate of 15% or the progressive resident rates depending on which results in a higher tax.
  • Director’s fees and other income such as dividends, rent, etc. earned in or derived from Singapore will be taxed at the prevailing rate of 20%.
  • You are required to fill in Form M (Income Tax Return for Non-Residents).


Do I have to withhold tax?

The payer is required to:

  • Withhold tax at 15% of the gross income payable to the non-resident professional; OR
  • the non-resident rate of 20% if the non-resident professional elects to be taxed on net income;
  • File Form IR37C; and
  • pay the withholding tax by the 15th of the month following the month in which the payment is made to the professional

Only income/fee attributable to the non-resident professional’s services perform in Singapore is subject to withholding tax.

Confirmation of payment

You will receive the confirmation of payment letter within 14 days from the receipt of your Form IR37 and tax payment. Confirmation of Payment letter will not be issued if the Form IR37 is incomplete or the payment is less than $10.

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